Carlisle United Supporters’ Groups [CUSG] are seeking applications for the Supporter Liaison Officer [SLO] role at the club.
Following the forced lockout of fans over the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the club and CUSG have taken the opportunity to review, assess and change the SLO role ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Geoff Weston has been the SLO since the summer of 2019 and has done a fine job as the first fan to be appointed in this position. Very much wanting to remain involved he has decided that the time is right to step down from the main SLO position and hand over the reins.
With the club independently ranked second for fan engagement [click HERE to read that review] in the whole of English football, our SLO arrangements are an area where we feel we can make improvements as we constantly strive to do better.
With CUSG in charge of all aspects of the SLO role it means the process is being completely controlled and managed by fans.
The new terms for the SLO role have been set by the supporters, not the club.
The SLO will be selected and appointed by CUSG, not the club.
It is an independent role and the SLO will report directly to CUSG. In addition the SLO will work closely with the club and its staff day-to-day, but not for the club - it will be a role for the supporters.
It is a voluntary position which includes the provision of a home season ticket, mobile phone and (new for this season) expenses to cover attendance at away games.
The new SLO role specification is detailed HERE.
The SLO is expected to be very active on social media, communicating fan issues directly to the club. Being a fan is 24/7, it’s not just around match day and game time, and comments can appear at any time.
With the return of fans to Brunton Park hopefully on the way, with new catering arrangements in the pipeline, and the growing importance of fan involvement in clubs, it’s clear the SLO has an important part to play as we go forward from here.
The longer- term objective is to build on the ‘meet and greet’ activities with a full SLO match day team, led by the SLO.
If you are interested and want to find out more, or if you wish to apply to be the new Carlisle United SLO, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date is 31 May 2021, and the aim is to have the SLO in place before the end of June.
Matt Spooner, from TheCumbrians.net forum, and who is leading on behalf of CUSG, said: “The SLO role is something that can be of huge benefit to fans and Carlisle United alike.
“Other clubs have probably performed better in this role over the last couple of years, but it’s something that CUSG are passionate about improving and we are keen to develop the role into something productive that becomes a key part of how fans communicate with the club.
“Geoff did a good job and helped us highlight areas for further development. CUSG is all about fans helping to improve things for fans, and this role epitomises that.”
Jim Mitchell, CUFC 1921 Ltd and CUOSC director, said: “The intention in developing the SLO role is to provide as valuable a resource as possible for our fans.
“The inclusion of away matches is, I think, a big plus in this respect. The increased financial support for the role provided by the club further demonstrates its commitment to fan engagement.
“We look forward to the new SLO pulling together a very able team which will provide an excellent service for United fans.”
Departing SLO Geoff Weston will continue to lead the home match day ‘meet and greet’ team which provides help and assistance at Brunton Park for fans.
He said: “I have enjoyed it very much, but the role is changing. I will stay part of it, but as part of the wider SLO team.”
Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “The SLO can make a real difference. Fan involvement and influence in helping the club get better is something I am very passionate about, and it’s also something we want to champion at the club.
“As our fan engagement evolves, we have found the SLO role is one that has unfulfilled potential. We thank Geoff for his work as he passes on the baton.
“The SLO can really help, in particular in highlighting match day issues which affect fans home and away more quickly.
“They can step in to help so that problems or queries can be dealt with there and then, and they can pick up on potentially bigger issues, individual fan concerns, problems or complaints and subsequently help resolve them, or make sure the club addresses them.
“Being truly independent will benefit the SLO and their impact and effectiveness.”
CUSG is the umbrella group for supporters to work together in collaboration with representatives of Carlisle United. Read the CUSG constitution HERE.